Exports of crude oil, petroleum products increased in first half of 2020

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 115 views 

U.S. crude oil exports rose to a record high in February, and exports of petroleum products were greater in the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Crude oil exports have declined in each month since February, but the exports were higher in the first half of 2020 than they were in the same period in 2019. Crude oil imports fell in April before rising in May and June but were lower in the first half of 2020 than they were in the same period in 2019.

Global petroleum demand started to fall in early 2020 as much of the world implemented measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The demand fell from 100.7 million barrels per day in the first half of 2019 to 90 million barrels per day in the same period in 2020. The decrease in global demand for crude oil and petroleum products has led to a decline in U.S. exports and imports.

U.S. crude oil exports rose to a record monthly high of 3.7 million barrels per day in February and increased to an average of 3.2 million barrels per day in the first half of 2020, from 2.9 million barrels per day in the same period in 2019. The rise in exports could be attributed to an increase in exports to China. The exports to China rose from 213,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2019 to 361,000 barrels per day in the same period in 2020. A large part of the increase was a result of the May and June exports, which were 1.3 million barrels per day and 700,000 barrels per day, respectively. In those months, China was the largest destination for U.S. crude oil exports.

Canada received the largest amount of exports in the first half of 2020, while China received the second-largest amount. The exports to Canada fell 19% to 389,000 barrels per day of crude oil in the first half of 2020, from the same period in 2019. The Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom were the next largest destinations for U.S. crude oil exports in the first half of 2020. Exports to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom rose by 11% and 18%, respectively, and exports to South Korea declined by 27%.

U.S. crude oil imports fell by 12% to 6.2 million barrels per day in the first half of 2020, from the same period in 2019. In May, imports from Saudi Arabia contributed to an increase in U.S. crude oil imports, which rose from 400,000 barrels per day in April to 1.2 million barrels per day in May and June. The rise in imports came after an April increase in crude oil production in Saudi Arabia as an agreement expired to cut production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partner countries (OPEC+) and before a new agreement was in place. Crude oil production rose to a high of 11.6 million barrels per day in April and was the highest level since 1993. These imports from Saudi Arabia didn’t reach the United States until May and June because the transit time for crude oil tankers from the Persian Gulf to the United States is several weeks.

In May, OPEC+ implemented its most recent production cuts, and crude oil production declined in Saudi Arabia. U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia also fell, declining to 513,000 barrels per day in July and to 311,000 barrels per day in August.

In the first half of 2020, U.S. exports of petroleum products rose 1%, or by 48,000 barrels per day, to 5.4 million barrels per day, from the same period in 2019. Exports of propane and other hydrocarbon gas liquids increased, offsetting a decline in U.S. exports of transportation fuels such as gasoline, distillate fuel oil and jet fuel.

Distillate fuel oil usually accounts for the largest share of U.S. petroleum product exports. However, in the first half of 2020, the United States exported more propane (1.22 million barrels per day) than distillate fuel oil (1.21 million barrels per day). U.S. propane exports increased 17%, or by 175,000 barrels per day, in the first half of 2020, from the same period in 2019, while U.S. distillate exports fell 6%, or by 72,000 barrels per day.

In March, China issued tariff waivers on U.S. liquefied petroleum gases, including propane. China was the fourth-largest destination for U.S. propane exports in the first half of 2020 behind Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

The top four destinations for U.S. exports of distillate fuel, which is most often consumed as diesel, are Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Panama. The exports to Mexico declined 14%, or by 40,000 barrels per day, and exports to Brazil fell by 17%, or by 33,000 barrels per day, in the first half of 2020, from the same period in 2019.

Motor gasoline exports declined 17%, or by 148,000 barrels per day, to 735,000 barrels per day in the first half of the year, from the same period in 2019. In May, motor gasoline exports fell to 340,000 barrels per day, the lowest value since late 2010.

Kerosene-type jet fuel declined 35%, or by 71,000 barrels per day, to 134,000 barrels per day in the first half of the year, from the same period in 2019. The exports declined to a low of 23,000 barrels per day in May and were at the lowest value since mid-2007.

Facebook Comments